UK experts, Mr. David J. Langton, MRCS at University Hospital of North Tees and Dr. Thomas Joyce, Mechanical Engineer at Newcastle University, spoke to DePuy patients at an International DePuy Hip Implant Recall Conference in the Horse and Jockey Hotel Conference Centre on Saturday, 19th March 2011. Lynch and Partners Solicitors hosted the conference to provide DePuy patients in Ireland with the opportunity to receive expert up-to-date opinion and objective advice from both speakers.
Mr. Langton advised DePuy patients that “pain is the number one indicator to justify further investigation.” He recommended an ultrasound scan for those DePuy patients who are experiencing symptoms. He stated “an ultrasound scan and repeat metal ion analysis are tests that DePuy patients should undergo in order to rule out the possibility of symptoms as a result of the defective DePuy implant.” He commented that the MRI scans being undertaken in Ireland are not necessarily conclusive and that in many cases they may require additional software to assist in the relevant data being made available to the treating physician.
According to Mr. John M. Lynch of Lynch and Partners, Solicitors, DePuy Orthopaedics Inc, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has expressed reservations on liability where fractures are present at the time of surgery, Mr. Langton said “a fracture is a recognised complication of resurfacing and a fracture after this type of surgery only becomes apparent between two and sixteen weeks after the operation.” Accordingly, Mr. Lynch emphasised that it is critical that all aspects of the surgery should be analysed by the relevant expert to rule out the other issues that may affect liability.
DePuy patients also learned at the conference that there is a very slow recovery following revision surgery because metal debris stays in the tissues for some time after the metallic joint has been removed and the body can still react creating inflammation. The pain does, however, seem to improve over time.
As the levels of potential failure, of the DePuy ASR hip implant device, have already increased dramatically since the beginning of this year, patients are recommended to seek a second opinion on their hip implant.
Lynch and Partners believe that when it comes to the issue of compensation for pain and suffering, DePuy patients need an objective second opinion. With this in mind, we are establishing links with medical experts in the UK.